Disconcerting

Two days ago, I received an order I had placed for a particular set of letters for the back window of my truck. Over the past two days, I’ve received a little feedback concerning what these letters say. Some of the feedback is very disturbing, especially since the feedback I am referring to, came from teachers.
You see, here is the lettering I placed on the back window of my truck:
socialist
The feedback I received, from two teachers, “…I would be afraid that the Secret Service would come and get me.”
It’s hard for me to imagine that two educated individuals have been trained to believe that voicing one’s opinion in a non-threatening manner would lead to being questioned by the Secret Service. Statistically speaking, I am around these two folks all the time, therefore, that’s a very high percentage of my immediate friends/family that believe this is a possibility, what is the percentage of Americans that also think this very same thing?
Are we living in a society where normal people feel threatened by their Government to the point they believe they cannot voice their non-threatening opinion about someone?
Furthermore, are we living in a society where people are scared to stand up for what they believe to to be the truth?
We see the turn in normal life for people to shy away from publicizing their beliefs in traditional values, because they’re afraid they’ll offend someone. We experience “suburban society” on a daily basis, where one lady will give another a fashion compliment, all-the-while, considering in the back of her mind, how uncoordinated or mismatched the outfit truly is. Why? Of course the answer is: Someone doesn’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. Would it not hurt that person more to learn that you have lied to them? Or, contrary to everything we’ve been taught, is a lie now acceptable over the truth, in this case, the truth that would hurt feelings? Therefore, is it acceptable to tell lies in order to save “feelings”. You’re saving someone’s feelings, but you’re committing a mortal sin?
Duh?
Am I am the only person I know that feels this is absolutely and totally screwed up?
I am often complimented on my ability to speak my mind, with the additional statement “…I could never say that, but I believe the same way you do.” So why can’t you say something? You’re afraid of what people may think about you? Why? Who cares? If you go through life holding back on your true beliefs simply because you’re afraid of what someone else may think about you, you’re living a lie. You’re trying to fool yourself by fooling others. You’re misrepresenting yourself to your self and to those around you.Which is worse? Being forthright and honest or protecting someone’s feelings and being a liar?
/john
“We cannot afford to differ on the question of honesty if we expect our republic permanently to endure. Honesty is not so much a credit as an absolute prerequisite to efficient service to the public. Unless a man is honest, we have no right to keep him in public life; it matters not how brilliant his capacity.” — Theodore Roosevelt

ADDENDUM:

I find it a little ironic that after writing the above Blog entry, I browse IMGUR’s historic images (365 days ago) and find this:

nZINR